The spectacular Milwaukee Road trestle, or Beverly Bridge, spanning the Columbia River, links the western half of the Palouse to Cascades Trail to the eastern half. Completed in 1909 and 1/2 mile long, the trestle was registered on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. But unfortunately, due to safety concerns, the trestle is gated and closed, bisecting the PTCT into two sections. Trail users who want to cross the Columbia River and Washington State, are forced to arrange a shuttle or risk a dangerous crossing at the nearest bridge, the I-90 bridge at Vantage, which has neither a pedestrian walkway nor shoulder. Renovating the Beverly Bridge would allow nonmotorized access across the Columbia River where currently there is no safe non-motorized crossing for a distance of 130 miles (between Wenatchee and TriCities).
May 20, 2017. The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation announced the recipients of their "2017 “Most Endangered Historic Structures”, and the Beverly Bridge, nominated by the Palouse to Cascades Trail Coalition, was one of six historic structures to receive this designation. (Click here to view Washington Trust for Historic Preservation's video on 2017 Most Endangered Structures)The designation of “Most Endangered” brings recognition to important historical structures and attracts funding and grants for preservation. Renovation of this trestle will unite east and west sections of the PTCT, allowing non-motorized transportation across the Columbia River where there is none for a distance of over 100 miles. This is an important step forward toward renovation of the bridge.We wish to offer special thanks to those who worked on the application for this designation, in particular, our rail historian, Board Member Mark Borleske, who wrote an excellent history of the bridge, and to those who contributed editing and photography showcasing the bridge’s architecture and beauty.
And there's more good news for the Beverly Bridge:
May 2018. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) has transferred $125,000 in funds to the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation to be applied toward an engineering study and cost estimation of renovating the Beverly Bridge for pedestrian use. (This is to meet the requirement that BNSF pay WA State a form of restitution in exchange for BNSF's plan to remove several historic trestles in the Columbia River Gorge. The Palouse to Cascades Trail Coaliton is a signatory to his agreement.) This gives the Beverly Bridge a head start on renovation cost and design analysis.We look forward to the day when east and west PTCT sections are united and trail users can travel safely across the Columbia River.